I wasn’t in my garden in my comfy garden clothes taking care of the weeds and work mounting at a great rate of knots in this mild winter weather. Although that would have been an awesome day for me. I wasn’t in the big shed assembling the greenhouse, which would have been fun and exciting to see it all come together – alas no this is still a pile of brackets, braces and glazing channels.
For my lovely day – I scrubbed up and removed as much dirt from under my nails as I could and put on my best dress and shiny shoes and headed off to a really amazing birthday party… 130 years!
The venue itself was incredible. Set on a private island that was reached from a causeway and had the most gorgeous heritage homestead set in the most beautiful gardens I’ve ever been in – the kind you see in a magazine. And for once the unseasonal warm sunny weather and lack of rain was just what was needed to make a special day perfect.
The birthday party High Tea was for Yates – New Zealand’s oldest and most respected seed company, and the celebrations were also to launch the latest edition of the Yates Garden Guide – number 78, which is a gardeners ‘must have’ book for gardening in our unique conditions. It is recognised as a NZ literary classic that has sold over a million copies. Not bad for a country with only 4 million people.
It was such a lovely party and I felt a little bit like a deer in headlights at times, as it was an amazing event to have been invited to, alongside some influential gardening people and organisations. I had to pinch myself to think how your friendly, often crazy, swamp gardener who is more comfortable in gumboots growing veggies, got to attend such a fine party.
But the thing is I owe Yates a debt of gratitude. Back in 2010 I was just an ordinary veggie gardener with a slowly expanding garden, trying to feed my family, with mixed results – and yes I did have a copy of the garden guide…. Most people do. And if you have heard my story before bear with me…
Yates launched a unique gardening competition requiring gardeners to use their products and garden for a season – roughly 100 days, blogging about it as they went. They repeated this competition four times over the years, which was great for me as I found a wonderful online community of like-minded gardeners who after 100 days had almost forgotten they were in a competition, as the friendship, advice and support flowed freely. Gardeners are such lovely people.
The other good thing is I discovered my love of writing through those challenges and I was fortunate enough to win one of them, and then I was even more fortunate to have had my blogs turned in a book which proudly flourishes the Yates logo on the front.
Without Yates this blog here on wordpress wouldn’t exist because I wouldn’t have discovered I love to write – especially about my garden. Since my book was launched in March this year I have had so many fabulous opportunities come my way that it would be fair to say that without Yates, my life would be completely different. I’m sure it would have been fun and have a garden in it, but I don’t imagine it would be anything like the amazing and exciting journey I am on today.
Happy Birthday Yates – thank you so much for all you have given me. I am ever so grateful.
Come again soon – I need to get some dirt back under my nails. Somehow they just don’t look right!
Sarah the Gardener : o )